A "Joyful" Book

A "Joyful" Book

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It is almost midnight and I am writing down a note on my phone about the book that I just finished. Philippe is already sleeping and I was almost asleep as well but I couldn’t resist just to fall asleep without writing a little piece of my thoughts about how beautiful this book was. I am doing it because I know that tomorrow I will start the day with totally other things on my mind and this inspiration that visits me now will leave far away and I am not gonna be able to catch it very easy.

One month ago I started a new book for my sleeping ritual, which I found on Instagram in a post from IDEO (an international design company that makes many amazing things; they are also the initiators of the design thinking process). Seeing the title, it became mandatory for me to search for it, especially because the fall was almost here, our Eurotrip ended and the gray and rainy days were becoming an daily basis.

The book’s name is “Joyful”, written by Ingrid Fetell Lee, and on its cover there are a few colourful pieces of confetti thrown in the wind. A month later, tonight, I finished it. And I am saying with all of my heart that this is one of those books that each of us should read! It is a collection of things that make us happy; things from our everyday life that we can change, which will guarantee a much more brighter day.

Since I entered this world of design and aesthetics, I think that every day I get to take new decisions that trigger my design skills and feelings. Whether is about creating a powerpoint presentation for school over night or about what t-shirt I choose to wear in the morning, I take decisions constantly. And also I am thinking constantly if the decisions that I make are good enough or match the knowledge that I have gathered during so many years of education and other experiences from the visual communication world. Definitely I always try to do my best, but sometimes it happens to not listen to my feelings due to the outside theories that come over mine.

As an example, last year I had to make the decision of what color should the Kånken that I was going to buy have (Kånken is the backpack from the Swedish brand Fjällräven). I made my research on their website, I visited their stores, I asked my friends for opinions, I created some photoshops with my clothes and the possible colors. In the end I agreed that the glacier green was perfect for my style. I arrived at the store and it was out of stock, so I needed to make an online order, which I obviously did right away. On my way back home, siting in the buss, the monochrome fashion rationality hit me (you know, the one that tells you that another color is actually fitting every single outfit), therefore I got out of the buss and turned back to the store where I cancelled my online order, ending up buying the black Kånken, from all 54 existing colors.

I really like this brand and the backpack itself, but the whole summer I was feeling so bad because its color had no spark, even though we have visited such colourful places. Where I want to get with this story is to the fact that until I got Lee’s book in my hands, I hesitated to choose things that provided me with joy, fearing of not fitting in a certain design style, being too flashy or even too tedious. Still, when I see other people having sparkling colors or funny objects, a big smile appear on my face. My intuition is talking to me. Sometimes I listen to it, sometimes I don't.

Today I might have finished the book, but my changing process has started already one month ago, and I am much more aware of the things that surround me and what kind of energy they are spreading out (I have also read Maria Kondo’s book, “The life-changing magic of tidying up” where she explains the objects’ energy, but this is focusing on just a small part of what “Joyful” presents). I truly recommend it from all of my heart. For me it was like a translation of all my thoughts and feelings that I’ve had deep inside me, but which I couldn’t really be conscious about. Now someone has put them in words, and they are also supported by extensive research. I am sure that you will feel this joy and begin to see your everyday life from another perspective.

Down here I will let a link to her TED presentation where she explains more about the contents of her book. For those of you who want even more joy in their life, there is also a link to her blog (I subscribed today for her newsletters).

P.S. At the end of the book there are some nice templates that you can use to design your own projects with joy as a central piece ^_^


Kånken in Gorges du Verdon, Castellane, France

Lessons Learned 5: Online Collaboration and Co-creation

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